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 Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 235
 Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:56 am 
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I'm going to cast a little Predictamancy of my own here. Sorry for interrupting the current discussions on much higher levels of Erf Theory. You'll have to forgive me, I don't spend a lot of time analyzing the comic to that degree.

Marie is rushing Janis for the express purpose of taking them both through GK's portal to Spacerock. The blue of the portal back by The Dude looks to be just about the right color for GK. Her reason for this is that, if she doesn't, she'll be trapped in the MK and Janis will be killed by what's going on below.

Charlie sent something unpleasant through the portal on the minecart, in order to cover his tracks and destroy the bunker (or potentially the portal given the tracks are broken, but I'm guessing he's trying to keep a lower profile than that), but he wasn't counting on Claude and Ivan being down there and in the way.

Normal circumstances would mean they would either watch it roll past or croak when the cart derailed, but Ivan is a Dirtamancer and can potentially save the two of them through maybe a wall or other means to shield them (I'm going to Predict it's time to bid them farewell, though). The bomb will go off at the column and destroy the collars, overloading the portal and nuking most of Portal Park.

Janis and Marie will probably make it to Spacerock. Transylvito's portal might remain intact, but I have no way of knowing how much damage an overloaded portal can do, or what it'll do to the other side of said portal.

A giant, smoking crater in Portal Park might also make for an excellent cliffhanger ending to Book 3. Not so sure about that one, though.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 235
     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:06 pm 
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    greycat wrote:
    Crisis21 wrote:
    Speculation:

    [...] After all, why spend dozens, or even hundreds, of turns trying to gain an Archery special when your ruler can just pop a bunch of archer units?

    Since units pop with so much relevant knowledge they didn't earn the hard way, I doubt many would see the merits of trying to train skills they weren't popped with. After all, if the Titans meant for them to do something, they'd have popped with that special, right? As such, there is a distinct lack of any drive to learn among most units, regardless of their popped intellect, and more than that there appears to be a complete lack of competent instructors to teach skills a unit does not possess natural talent for.


    My own speculation is that a unit cannot learn a new Special without magical intervention. We've seen several units trying to learn how to use GK's guns, with absolutely no sign of improvement. Granted, there is a finite supply of bullets, so they can't keep trying indefinitely, but we saw no sign of even the slightest incremental improvement with practice.

    Erfworld somehow recognizes "Archery specialist, rifle" as a Special that a unit may have, or not have. Charlie's guns have been magically enhanced to give this Special to their users. Whether that was done by Dollamancy, Weirdomancy, Carnymancy, some combination of these, or something else entirely, we don't know yet. So far, this is the only source of this Special that we've seen.

    My speculation is that a Special is a binary flag. A unit either has it, or doesn't. There are no levels to it. You can't be "5% of the way to learning it".

    This does not dispute your observations that most units don't put in the effort to learn things. There are probably lots of things units could learn with practice, especially "soft skills" like diplomacy and oration, but most units would rather train within their discipline.


    That is certainly one interpretation. How about another?

    Specials are a binary flag. If you have them, then you are proficient in the skill. If you don't, then you're hopeless. However, training in a skill you don't possess might earn you exp towards gaining the related special. Kind of like earning money to buy an item. You don't have the item yet, but you're x% on your way to being able to afford it.

    How much does it earn? Who knows. We certainly don't and it seems that Erfworld units don't either. Maybe training in an unpossessed special does not earn 'visible' exp towards gaining it. Which means that Erfworld units would be unaware of their own progress, which would be frustrating.


    Or... maybe in order to learn a special you don't have, you need training from a unit that does have it.


    All interesting speculation, but still just speculation at this point.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 235
     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:01 pm 
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    What you just said Crisis sounds accurate too make, and would make sense with what we have seen.

    it would be alike a game. You can train a unit for an x amount of time. But they don't gain the ability until the training is complete. In games you have an ability or you do now. Their is no such thing as half an ability or being level 1.5. You have to get enough xp to get to level 2. Until that point their is no progress, and then suddenly 'poof' you get a jump. It would make sense if abilities worked that way too, but the training to learn them seems to be immense.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 235
     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:11 pm 
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    Sir Dr D wrote:
    What you just said Crisis sounds accurate too make, and would make sense with what we have seen.

    it would be alike a game. You can train a unit for an x amount of time. But they don't gain the ability until the training is complete. In games you have an ability or you do now. Their is no such thing as half an ability or being level 1.5. You have to get enough xp to get to level 2. Until that point their is no progress, and then suddenly 'poof' you get a jump. It would make sense if abilities worked that way too, but the training to learn them seems to be immense.


    Yeah, it strikes me that there's multiple ways this could play out:

    1) Training is meaningless except for small amounts of general xp (proven with Artemis levelling solely from training). Training does not affect the gaining of new skills in any way (I see this as both uninteresting and unlikely given what we've seen of Erfworld so far).

    2) Training in a skill you don't have isn't meaningless, but it is much less efficient than training in a skill you do (less xp, very long time to gain skill for an Erfworlder). In addition, Erfworlders have no way to gauge their own progress (invisible xp for earning a new skill outside levelling) and so find this path very frustrating.

    3) Training for a skill you don't possess is only possible if instructed by a unit that does possess the skill. Still takes a relatively long time. Alternatively, instructed training is faster than uninstructed training.

    4) New skills/specials can't be gainedoutside of levelling. However, regularly practicing with certain weapons/skills makes it that much more likely that unit will gain the related special the next time he/she levels.

    Edit for below: 5) Training gives the unit a low, but non-zero, chance of learning the relevant special with each training session.

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    Last edited by Crisis21 on Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 235
     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:37 pm 
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    Sir Dr D wrote:
    it would be alike a game. You can train a unit for an x amount of time. But they don't gain the ability until the training is complete.


    Yes, that's possible. Some games work that way.

    Another possibility is that each time you "train" (a discrete activity, takes X units of time), there's some minuscule random chance that you'll learn (1% or 0.5% or something), and gain the new ability. Otherwise, nothing happens. Some games work this way, so they don't need to carry around a whole bunch of data for partially trained skills. It's simpler to code, and requires less memory.

    And the third possibility, of course, is the one I stated on the previous page: no learning-by-doing at all. That's the simplest one to code. ;)

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 235
     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:57 pm 
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    The guy in the grey overcoat. Is that ... Donald Sutherland from Invasion of the Bodysnatchers(1978)?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEStsLJZhzo

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 235
     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:10 pm 
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    blargfoot wrote:
    The guy in the grey overcoat. Is that ... Donald Sutherland from Invasion of the Bodysnatchers(1978)?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEStsLJZhzo


    You did not read the thread

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 235
     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:34 pm 
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    Xarx wrote:
    blargfoot wrote:
    The guy in the grey overcoat. Is that ... Donald Sutherland from Invasion of the Bodysnatchers(1978)?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEStsLJZhzo


    You did not read the thread


    I've only read 3-4 pages, but Don was mentioned in every single one of them, so it would seem to be hard indeed to miss. :mrgreen:

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 235
     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:35 pm 
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    JadedDragoon wrote:
    The loss of value isn't a result of the croaking and decryption. The loss of value is after that, when being croaked again means dusting. At that point Wanda has a tendancy to undervalue her croaked units... using them as disposable troops like she would uncroaked. That is a problem from a Stupidworlder perspective... but from an Erfworlder perspective all sides tend to treat their low level stabbers and archers that way (though not usualy to the same extreme as uncroaked). And there is no loss of value from croaking and decrypting itself. Quite the opposite in fact as many have pointed out.
    No, the loss in value is in exacerbating the existing tendency of decryption to turn the entire world against Wanda, and thus against the decrypted...to the point where even the decrypted begin to view decryption as a terrible fate. That's not a "Stupidworlder perspective". It's matter of strategic importance that Parson has correctly identified as a key reason for the defeat of Spacerock. Yes, Parson overtly attributes this to "Toolism", an invention of his own (designed specifically with the narrow purpose of pushing one particular royalist's big red button). But the decision to use the decrypted to spread and exemplify that message was not Parson's.
    JadedDragoon wrote:
    Ossomer's turning back to Jetstone was a result of his extreme dislike for Parson and Stanley's methods. Ossomer is as close to a lawful stupid paladin as we've seen in Erfworld and his honor-bound nature was simply too opposed to the tactics and methods of Gobwin Knob. In fact it's implied that his decision to turn to Jetstone was a, perhaps misguided, attempt to serve Wanda as he felt that Parson, Stanley, and the likes of Sylvia were letting the cause of toolism down by being so dishonorable (it seems his loyalty to Wanda would not allow him to see that she was also dishonorable).
    Ossomer may not have been able to openly acknowledge that he was having trouble with Wanda's methods...Ansom did, when she executed Ossomer. And while decrypted Ossomer couldn't admit Wanda's culpability for those methods, living Ossomer did more than merely admit it. To say that they were "Parson and Stanley's methods" is ignoring Wanda's actual role in using those methods despite Parson and Stanley's reservations.
    JadedDragoon wrote:
    Perhaps Wanda could have reasoned with Ossomer had she known he was having such doubts. Perhaps she would have refused to. But Perhaps not. We don't know. You keep talking about how Wanda behaves to units before decryption as if she behaves the same toward them after decryption and I've not seen anything to support that (or contradict it much either really).
    No, Wanda couldn't have reasoned with Ossomer after decryption because freshly decrypted units can't reason. You just pointed that out yourself, that Ossomer couldn't consider that Wanda might be morally responsible for what he considered "dishonorable" actions. And yet, for all that Ossomer was still impaired up until he turned (at which point he responded without hesitation that he owed her no loyalty due to her dishonorable taking of his life), I believe he was right that his turning was a necessary lesson for her.
    JadedDragoon wrote:
    And you're right, Wanda prefers to croak and decrypt rather than discuss. Why shouldn't she?
    Because it turns the vast majority of Erfworlders against her and the decrypted. It's even turning affecting the decrypted.
    JadedDragoon wrote:
    Put the stupidworlder answer to that aside for a second. If she discusses with some one she must expend resources (time, effort, attention) just to have the conversation... and likely the people she is discussing with will want something in return for joining Wanda... so it will cost her whatever that is too. Then she will get a bunch of units that have upkeep... so it then costs her even more. And that assumes she actually has something they want anyway. There is a reason most sides do not attempt to convert enemy units enmass... they can't afford for the enemy units to say yes.
    That's not a Stupidworld reason, it's a reason based on the effect of her actions on Erfworlders. The fact that it might also apply in Stupidworld (I don't know that it would, I think many Stupidworlders might welcome immortality without upkeep) doesn't negate that it is an consequence in Erfworld, and not a completely unexpected one.
    JadedDragoon wrote:
    From an Erfworlder perspective there is no rational reason not to croak and decrypt rather than debate and cajole. The person decrypted loses nothing and Wanda gains a valuable, upkeepless, and loyal new unit. In every sense they are more valuable to Wanda as decrypted than they were to their original side before... so they are actually gaining value from being croaked and decrypted... not losing it.
    It doesn't matter that the Erfworlder reasons to hate what Wanda is doing are "irrational". I agree that the Erfworlder hatred of decryption of decryption is wrong, that Wanda should be loved rather than hated. But her actions have inspired more fear and hatred than love...in Erf. And she can and must change her approach. Because it's causing her decrypted to be dusted, including hundreds in the same turn they were decrypted...and that IS a loss.
    JadedDragoon wrote:
    Now back to the Stupidworlder reason... "free will." Free will is a funny concept in Erfworld. It does not work at all like it does in stupidworld. It's a pretty easy argument, and one others have made often, that free will doesn't even exist in Erfworld... only the illusion of it (and I could argue that that's true in stupidworld pretty well too). Things like Duty and Loyalty manipulate and subtly control units and make them behave in the best interests of their side and allies. Then you have turnamancers who can manipulate Duty and Loyalty to force them to change sides (as Vanna did to the hobgobwins in K.I.S.S.). The concept of free will clearly is not high on the list of values in Erfworld.
    Again, you are attributing a position I have not taken, and claiming it is the "Stupidworld" position. In the debate between Fate and Free will (which has been introduced to us as an Erfworlder debate), I'm firmly on the side of Fate...with the understanding that Fate takes Free will into acccount. I even find Wanda's explanation of it to Antium in the Portal room of Jetstone rather compelling.
    Quote:
    Fate is inevitable, Warlord. But our path to it is not.

    We must first divine, and then enact our destinies.

    To live is to suffer. our Fate is our only release.

    So if we fight agaisnt Fate, or fail to act in support of it when the way is clear, then we only worsen and prolong our misery.

    Our choices do matter.

    Wise choices ease the way, and foolish ones cause suffering.
    Wanda has been making foolish choices in how she uses the decrypted and decryption, and it has turned Erf against her. She probably made the foolish choice to kill Saline IV to put a more easily manipulated ruler on the throne and then encouraged him to start a war he couldn't win. She definitely made the foolish choice to make him deadly enemies with Jillian, with whose Fate Wanda knows her own to be entangled, by having him attack Faq. I did not agree when Jack called Wanda's explanation of Fate a "conceptual crap sandwich", but given how she has failed to apply it to good effect in her life, it seems a reasonably comment on her own unwillingness to actually learn wisdom from her suffering.
    JadedDragoon wrote:
    Parson hasn't quite wrapped his head around that yet. That's why he keeps taking issue with Wanda's blithe decryption practices. More specifically, why he keeps being surprised by it. He might still take issue with it if he could get it through his head that that's simply not how Erfworlders think (as would I)... but he wouldn't be surprised by it any more.
    Parson isn't the only person in Erf who can't quite wrap his head around decryption. He's actually clearly dealing with it better than most. The problem is how most Erfworlders are reacting to Wanda's actions. Parson gets that and explained it to everyone, though he declined to heap the blame on Wanda. Wanda doesn't need a heap of blame...but she does need to learn from her failures. That's a hard thing, given how much failure she's faced in her life. But she's learned a lot. Not all of it helpful.
    JadedDragoon wrote:
    I mean you keep saying that something is lost when the units are croaked... but what? What is lost? With decryption as an option nothing is lost by them being croaked unless they aren't decrypted. Free will? We can't be sure they even have that to begin with. So what is it you think they are losing?
    What is lost when they are croaked is just their first life...but how they are croaked can cost them their second. Like letting a city go inferno and burn to the ground rather than bother taking it. Or spreading the perception that honor and nobility have no place in a world of decrypted, which she intends to create by killing croaking everyone. And that can lose more than the corpses of the croaked and the lives of decrypted...it has lost her the protection of the GMTTA and Hippiemancers and the toleration of the rest of the MK. Which has come perilously near to costing her own life. That's a non-trivial cost.
    JadedDragoon wrote:
    The existence of sides could be argued to perpetuate endless war as a result of each side needing to attack the others to maintain their treasury. If the whole world was decrypted there would be no other sides... and the upkeep for such units is 0. It's very easy to imagine a world where one side controls all cities and turns their cities' production only to the maintenance of non-sentient units and functions while all sentient units are decrypted and have no upkeep... thus allows the costs of running a side to remain managable... even a world spanning one... without the need for war.

    This would be, functionally, a utopia by Erfworld standards.
    But Wanda's actions are not making that outcome more likely. Turning the entire world against decryption does not help advance the goal of a utopia of decrypted bound together by Arkin' love for Mistress Wanda. Unlike you, I respect Wanda's intention and count it in her favor. But I am not blind to the consequences of her former pattern of behavior.

    On the subject of learning in Erf, we know that certain units (notably Archons) do commonly gain specials as they level, and that learning to master the specials a unit already has is an important aspect of leveling (though less important than winning battles, interestingly because it is losses that teach the most in Stupidworld...perhaps it is confidence, rather than learning, that one gains from winning). We also know that casters can become masters by having important new insights into their abilities, it isn't just a function of leveling. And mastery allows casters to do things they couldn't do before, because they didn't know how. This does appear to be automagical intervention, but that term describes all the mechanics of Erf. So while I don't have any particular theory on how exactly gaining specials works, I suspect the mechanic exists more generally than it is used, or GK wouldn't have tried so hard to train with the non-auto-specialing rifles Ace made, they would have focused entirely on trying to figure out the auto-specialing. It's probably something ridiculously easy like zeroing the sights properly and avoiding the temptation to apply Kentucky windage.

    On the speculation of a bomb, I'm not convinced Charlie can send something through the portal and have it emerge in the portal shards under bedrock rather than coming out his regular portal. It's possible but nothing like this seems to be directly implied. It does seem that the portal shards must lead to CC, because that seems likely to have been the extraction plan he was telling Ivan and Claude when they croaked. But even if Charlie could and did send a bomb the other way, why would it be coming back to the portal? We've seen that explosions and projectiles propagate through CC's portal...setting off a really big bomb very close on the other side seems like a good way to turn CC's portal into a massive gun.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 235
     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:56 pm 
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    Crisis21 wrote:
    Spoiler: show
    Yeah, it strikes me that there's multiple ways this could play out:

    1) Training is meaningless except for small amounts of general xp (proven with Artemis levelling solely from training). Training does not affect the gaining of new skills in any way (I see this as both uninteresting and unlikely given what we've seen of Erfworld so far).

    2) Training in a skill you don't have isn't meaningless, but it is much less efficient than training in a skill you do (less xp, very long time to gain skill for an Erfworlder). In addition, Erfworlders have no way to gauge their own progress (invisible xp for earning a new skill outside levelling) and so find this path very frustrating.

    3) Training for a skill you don't possess is only possible if instructed by a unit that does possess the skill. Still takes a relatively long time. Alternatively, instructed training is faster than uninstructed training.

    4) New skills/specials can't be gainedoutside of levelling. However, regularly practicing with certain weapons/skills makes it that much more likely that unit will gain the related special the next time he/she levels.

    Edit for below: 5) Training gives the unit a low, but non-zero, chance of learning the relevant special with each training session.


    Another option also exists, which I would really, really hate to be true.

    Option 6. Specials you don't start with cannot be trained. (evidence against this is that casters have been proven to in game be able to learn different branches of magic related to theirs. ) (evidence for this is that no non-magic specials have been learned after popping that we know off.)


    Edit: Ninjad be someone who proved me wrong.... Yay! Thing I didn't want to be true, isnt true!

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 235
     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:03 pm 
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    I should apologize for fisking JadedDragoon, it is not a method I normally find useful for advancing a discussion. In this case I felt it was necessary to point out that JD was attributing to me arguments that I do not accept and ignoring the logical consequences of other arguments that JD has advanced. But that is not unexpected when jumping into a long-running and often rancorous debate in which certain common dichotomies have emerged.

    I feel that certain of these dichotomies are false dilemmas, and they discourage exploration of theories that may be more conducive to appreciating Erf's characters and their stories, and to the spirit of enjoyment of the fan community. But I don't mind people taking one side or another of such a dispute as long as they are willing to recognize when I have not taken either side.

    Not that I will never take sides in a controversy. Nor even that nobody will ever correctly guess which side I'm on. But I will defend my right to speak for myself rather than have ideas I find repugnant attributed to me, even when that means flatly contradicting in detail much of another fan's post.

    But I do wish I had methods for expressing myself which were not so apparently unfriendly.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 235
     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:24 pm 
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    One important thing about specials, as weird as it seems: A doombat can hit as hard as a gwiffon, just by having Ansom stack with it and getting chief warlord bonus from Vinny. Why is that important? Because it means that the "actual" skill and strength of a unit don't just depend on the unit.

    What's also important: Yes, some units do gain specials, but the only example of that which we've seen, as far as I remember, were the Archons, which only gain specials from a fixed list, and even that is considered an unusual trait of their unit type.

    Basically, I don't think you can gain specials by training, but I think training in skills/specials you already have makes it easier to level up. Basically, a piker who knows the "proper way" to pike will have an easier time reaching the next level than a piker who spends all day trying to be an archer (which will have no results whatsoever except as far as archery skills can be applied to "piking").

    (And no, this isn't one of my Poe-sts)

    (Also, damn, seems like we're back to regularly scratching the deadline again)

    Edit: Also, from the backer stories:
    Neither Duke Forecastle nor the Anchorbar warlords ever gained the seafarer special. In fact, the ship's crew found the idea of Forecastle trying to understand the ship ridiculous.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 235
     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:13 pm 
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    Lord Dominator wrote:
    Basically, I don't think you can gain specials by training, but I think training in skills/specials you already have makes it easier to level up. Basically, a piker who knows the "proper way" to pike will have an easier time reaching the next level than a piker who spends all day trying to be an archer (which will have no results whatsoever except as far as archery skills can be applied to "piking").

    In the end, we have insufficient data, all we know for sure is that it's harder for Erfworlders to learn things than humans. It's kind of interesting that Parson was still able to use guns with reasonable success without the benefit of an auto-special.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 235
     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:33 pm 
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    I do think it is fair to say that a piker is far more likely to level by focusing on being a good piker than on trying to be an inept archerer (both in training and in combat). But that mechanic is sufficient to explain why most units don't even attempt to branch out. By virtue of a strength of such a mechanic, and the relatively short life-expectancy of most basic units, we have no real need to posit that gaining different specials is impossible for such units, simply not worth the cost to their combat utility/upkeep and leveling. I don't think it even has to be much harder for them to learn than it is for the average Stupidworlder (I mean, keep in mind that feudalism, which is the general thematic basis of Erf mechanics, was a real thing in our world for centuries).

    But we do have significant evidence that, even if gaining new specials by training and leveling is impossible for all units but a selected few types, the futility of attempting it is not widely known. If GK units knew that training with rifles would never confer any ability to use one properly, they wouldn't have tried so hard to train with them rather than relying on magic to fix the rifles with the auto-specialing. It would be a pointless waste of ammo, representing their Dirtamancer's juice which would be better spent on defensive improvements or golems.

    And for Ace, it would also be a pointless waste of time he should have spent trying to learn how the auto-specialing was applied. Not that Ace can't be dumb...but we've also seen him be the smartest guy in the room despite his jar-headed demeanor, including at least once when he was talking to Parson. I'm not saying that Ace is right, or even that he's not being dumb. But his attempt to train with the rifles is evidence that Erfworlders believe that training to try and gain a different special isn't impossible as such, just not particularly worth the opportunity cost to training to be better at something you already can do.

    Ultimately, I think that part of "peace on Erf" is about changing how units relate to war. Some of that is mechanical, like reducing upkeep to allow a sustainable economy without war. But some of it must involve changing the attitude and aptitudes of the units themselves so that war is not their only option in life. What good is "peace" if nearly everyone would rather be at war because it's the only thing that gives their existence any purpose?

    That doesn't mean that most units definitely have the ability to gain new combat specials. But I think that they have to have the ability to learn new abilities. Or they'd prefer being croaked, even without honor, rather than going on living.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 235
     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:45 pm 
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    Windscion wrote:
    HighJumper wrote:
    Also, I just realized that these updates are deliberately paired, with the events in the Magic Kingdom revealed at the same time as the events below them are shown as below them. It's an awesome artistic maneuver, but subtle enough to take a bit to catch.

    Janis is currently heading over to execute Wanda, so we know that the big scene where Wanda dies and/or escapes is very close in Erf-time. So the exact sequence of events in the MK is becoming more important to the storyline.


    Forgive me if you got this. Yes, timing is important right now, but the clever part of it is the underground events are shown going on underneath the aboveground events.


    For all the people speculating about gaining specials or abilities, I think you should read the take Spicymancer outlines in his excellent Hungry Jungle works. In the second installment there's a whole area of a city designated for training up warlords in the Dance Fighting special, according to some of the rules theorized above.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 235
     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:54 pm 
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    HighJumper wrote:
    For all the people speculating about gaining specials or abilities, I think you should read the take Spicymancer outlines in his excellent Hungry Jungle works. In the second installment there's a whole area of a city designated for training up warlords in the Dance Fighting special, according to some of the rules theorized above.


    I have indeed read that. I've taken a few cues from the instruction it shows in my speculation.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 235
     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:58 pm 
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    Chiu ChunLing said basically everything I want to on gaining specials, so I'll extrapolate.

    I believe gaining specials is possible, but usually not worth it. I propose one way in which they would be very important: the 'creation' of specials that it is not possible to pop with. Notably: Archery Specialist, Rifle

    I'll further speculate that Ace cannot auto-specialize guns because he has never examined a unit possessing that special. Charlie is able to make them, or have them made, because he once trained a unit in gaining that special, then had a caster use the knowledge of that special to imbue a weapon with it.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 235
     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:39 pm 
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    And if you look at the way many games work, abilities are not tied to the individual. They are tied to the character class they are. Think miniature games, or magic the gathering , or heores of might and magic, or civilization, or what ever. All that might be stored about a unit is their current hp, their location , and their level. Their abilities come from the type of class that they are, and global modifiers. But what they can do themselves are well defined.

    If that is at all how erfworld works, then that means a piker is a piker and an archer is an archer. Their abilities, and combat stats, come from some global template that all pikers have, and not assigned to them as individuals. All that they can do to improve is become a level 2 or higher, as their level is attached to them as an individual and one of the few attributes about themselves that they can actually change.

    So if you want to have piker be able to use a crossbow. You would need to
    a) Use some powerfulll magical linkup, and change the piker template. Then automatically every piker in Erfworld would gain that ability.
    b) Use magic to temporarily give them an ability. But then they are an enchanted piker and the ability only lasts for as long as the enchantment is in place.
    c) Instead of learning a new ability, they try to become a new unit type.

    that last one is the important one. Maybe all of erfworlders have been thinking of it wrong. You can't try to learn a new ability that is outside of your class description. The Numbers axis has a definition of what a piker does, and it just can't process anything outside of those abilities. So if a piker tries it just won't work. Numbers will just have the action fail. But what if the piker tries to change himself so that he is no longer a 'piker'? A person's unit type is part of their personal stats, so might be changeable. He becomes a unit type that allows for crossbows. Could he even create his own character class that exists just for him? The key then is to try to become an individual first, break yourself away from some of Erfworld's influence, and define your own abilities. It is like shouting "I am not just a monster manual entry! I am my own person dang it! "

    Anyway, just blindly trying to learn a new ability probably will not work. The problem needs to be approached scientifically , and understand why unit 's can't learn. Once you understand why, and what Erfworld can and cannot allow, then you can find ways to break it. It will take lateral thinking and not blind effort.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 235
     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:50 pm 
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    Crisis21 wrote:
    HighJumper wrote:
    For all the people speculating about gaining specials or abilities, I think you should read the take Spicymancer outlines in his excellent Hungry Jungle works. In the second installment there's a whole area of a city designated for training up warlords in the Dance Fighting special, according to some of the rules theorized above.


    I have indeed read that. I've taken a few cues from the instruction it shows in my speculation.


    Well, then, cite your source, and I won't have to. I'm personally taking Spicymancer's representation as canon until proved otherwise.


    On a completely unrelated and as far as I know yet unmentioned note, I just realized that the rumble is coming from the direction they did. A bit of research of the last few pages indicates that they left the bunker and made at least one turn with another option*(last panel of page 225), and eventually came around the bend to such a cute portal mess, with the inside of the arc to their right as they looked at the mess. Now, they're looking back along that same side of the tunnel, since the inside of the arc is now to the left.

    Incidentally, I think some Retconjuration is in order, since all four of the relevant panels of page 232 have powered wires on the left side of the tunnel as they approach the portal mess, but only the last panel has powered wires on the right side of the tunnel. In this page, the disappearing wires are those that should be on the right side of the tunnel as they look back down it in the last panel. The wires are still projecting from the base of the portal column in the first two of the underground panels, but don't show up on the wall.

    *Edited to add that I refuse to speculate where else the tunnel system could have connected to or why the doll might have gone there with the loot.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 235
     Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:02 pm 
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    HighJumper wrote:
    Crisis21 wrote:
    HighJumper wrote:
    For all the people speculating about gaining specials or abilities, I think you should read the take Spicymancer outlines in his excellent Hungry Jungle works. In the second installment there's a whole area of a city designated for training up warlords in the Dance Fighting special, according to some of the rules theorized above.


    I have indeed read that. I've taken a few cues from the instruction it shows in my speculation.


    Well, then, cite your source, and I won't have to. I'm personally taking Spicymancer's representation as canon until proved otherwise.

    I'm considering it that as well, however as a fan work it does not any sort of authority. Only plausibility. As it has no official canonicity, I did not feel comfortable citing it as if it were.

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